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Microsoft, AT&T Ready Windows Phone 7 Promotions

10/18/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK — Microsoft will launch its Windows 7 Phone ad campaign in late October, followed by AT&T’s own advertising to promote the carrier’s Nov. 8 launch of the U.S. market’s first Windows Phone 7 smartphone, AT&T told TWICE.

AT&T’s advertising will include national TV, print and online ads, a spokesman said without disclosing details.

For its part, Microsoft’s marketing campaign will include “a mix of TV, print and digital, allowing us to go direct with a broad group of people at time and targeting niche audiences at others,” a company spokesperson said.

Microsoft declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that it would spend $100 million to promote the OS.

One of Microsoft’s TV commercials highlights the chaos that can ensue when consumers spend a lot of time trying to use complicated smartphones and stop paying attention to what’s going on around them. The commercial refers to Windows Phone 7 OS and its Hubs and Live Tiles as a solution.

T-Mobile didn’t disclose details of its promotion plans for a smartphone OS that Microsoft is banking on to reverse its sliding smartphone share in the face of Apple and Black- Berry dominance and an onslaught of new Android-based smartphones coming in the following months (see p. 32).

For their part, analysts are divided over whether the new OS will help Microsoft regain share. Gartner projects that Microsoft’s worldwide smartphone share will tick up in 2001 from 2010’s 4.7 percent but drop back down in 2014 to 3.9 percent. IDC forecasts Microsoft’s share will go from 6.8 percent in 2010 to 9.8 percent in 2014.

Despite Microsoft’s expected growth, the market will support up to five smartphone OSs, but no OS will dominate, an IDC report added.

However since many OSs co-exist, the Windows launch is “critically important for Microsoft because computing is going mobile, and Microsoft can’t afford to cede that market to Apple and Google,” Current Analysis research director Avi Greengart told TWICE.

“Two things stand out” about the OS, he said. “The way the features are implemented and integrated is very, very different from the iPhone and Android phones,” he said. He also cited Xbox Live integration, enabling users to view friends, avatars, achievements, and the like but not yet enabling online multiplayer gaming via the handset.
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